This post offers a simple technique for developing basic, initial themes and ideas into more concrete forms such as podcasts, YouTube videos, essays, novels or other word-based media.
Developing a theme or basic idea into something more concrete and interesting is not always easy. The starting point for an idea can come from almost anywhere. It could be something that you read, something someone says, a picture you see, a movie you watch, in fact almost anything. I have used a painting I really like, "the Woman in Gold" by Gustav Klimt and focused on the theme of 'gold' as my initial idea to explore for this post.
As we use words to explicitly communicate our ideas we can start to explore by brainstorming and writing down, or recording in some other way, simple, one word ideas that we associate with our chosen themes or initial ideas. You can see the words I have associated with my gold theme, written on the painting above.
Once these simple seeds are sown they need to grow. Thinking about their meanings, what that looks like in reality, the environment that these things exist in, and so on, helps us find connections between them. Using our experience and our imagination can help these word seeds grow.
Think about the connections these seed words have with the theme word, in my case 'gold' and write some simple sentences about them. For example, Gold has value. People desire gold. Possession of gold is a status symbol. The sight of gold stimulates greed. Possession of gold increases cases of theft. Hunger for gold might lead to death.
Relationships between the theme word and the seed words might be expressions of cause or effect, opposites, sub categories of one another, and so on. As these sentences find connections with each other they might form more complex ideas expressed in more complex sentences. For example ideas from the first three sentences I wrote above could be combined as one: People desire gold because it has value and suggests status. While ideas from the last three sentences above could produce: The sight of gold stimulates greed in others which may lead to theft and even death. Reason and cause and effect relationships bring together the ideas from the simpler statements.
I could then develop the idea expressed in the sentence, 'People desire gold because it has value and suggests status.' as a positive argument for the ownership of gold, while developing the idea of the sentence, 'The sight of gold stimulates greed in others which may lead to theft and even death.' as a negative or opposite argument for owning gold.
Although not perfect, these could become firm foundations for writing an argumentative essay, preparing for a debate, exploring viewpoints or asking interview questions.
So by starting with a theme, associating simple ideas to that, building simple sentences which lead to more complex statements we can gradually build content for any number of communication projects for podcast, video, blog and more.